Singapore International Water Week opens doors to water market in China

Movers and shakers of the China water industry will be in Singapore to share about investment opportunities in China's trillion dollar water market at the Singapore International Water Week...

SINGAPORE, May 22, 2009 -- Movers and shakers of the China water industry will be in Singapore to share about investment opportunities in China's trillion dollar water market at the Singapore International Water Week, a global platform for water solutions.

China will be one of the eight business forums held on 25 June during the Water Week. A panel of government, provincial and municipal officials and water industry captains from China will attend the China Business Forum, a flagship program of the Water Week. These delegates will share their experiences and best practices, offering insight to Chinas abundant water business opportunities and water projects in different provinces.

Close to 10,000 delegates and trade visitors are expected at the event to be held from 23 to 26 June. Of these, 70% are expected to be overseas attendees. Policy makers, industry players, experts and practitioners can tap on a global reservoir of refreshing perspectives and economically-viable solutions at Singapore International Water Week 2009.

Themed "Sustainable Cities Infrastructure and Technologies For Water," this year's flagship programs of the Water Leaders' Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo and Business Forums will have an expanded focus on infrastructure and technologies. In line with this, the 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region, the International Water Associations 6th Leading-Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies and the official opening of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant will be held.

The business forums will be valuable networking sessions matching participants to key decision makers from both national and provincial level and potential business partners in China as well as Australia, Europe, India, Japan, Middle East and North Africa, North America and Southeast Asia. North Africa and North America are the latest additions for business forums this year.

Strong Support from Chinese Municipalities and Provinces
The China Business Forum this year is drawing strong support from leading global organization as well as China's municipal and provincial level. Invited speakers include Mr Zhang Yue, Inspector of Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD); as well as Mr Yue Zhongming, President of the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Water Commission; and Mr Li Dongjia, Party Secretary of Guangzhou Water Bureau from China.

These leaders will be present to share their insights on the water policy framework, development trends and opportunities. Provincial leaders, municipal authorities, enterprises, industry associations, will also be on hand to discuss their regions water needs and profile their water projects and business opportunities in a bid to forge business partnerships during the week.

Another major draw for the China Business Forum this year is the CEO Panel where a panel of CEOs will share their success stories and experience in getting a slice of the huge China water market. Chairing this panel is Ms Olivia Lum, Group CEO, President & Managing Director of Hyflux Ltd. Mr Charles Gordon, President and CEO of Siemens Water Technologies, are among those invited to shed light on their successful ventures into the Chinese water market.

Inking Deals
There has been strong cooperation between China and Singapore both at the government and private sector level. Recent collaborations include the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Project by China's MHURD and Singapore's Ministry of National Development as well as the ZhangJiagang wastewater treatment plant, a water demonstration project between China's MHURD and Singapore's Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

At last year's China Business Forum, Sembcorp, a leading utilities and marine group with extensive experience in industrial wastewater treatment, inked a Heads of Agreement with the Qinzhou municipal government, establishing an understanding for the joint development of centralized utilities projects to serve industrial customers in the Qinzhou Port Economic Development Zone.

"Water industry players will get the inside track on China's fast-growing water market at the China Business Forum. They will get an introduction to industry trends and the intricate workings of China's water sector, which will be especially valuable to newcomers with little knowledge of the market," according to Mr Michael Toh, Managing Director of Singapore International Water Week.

China's RMB1 trillion Water Market
Providing urban water services is an important part of China's national economy. According to the World Bank, the annual capital investment in this sector accounted for about 0.4 percent of China's GDP.

In its 11th five-year plan, the Chinese government projected that the total investment in its water sector would amount to almost RMB1 trillion from 2006 to 2010. Of this, some RMB300 billion would be for investments in sewage and water reclamation projects, and RMB100 billion for rehabilitation of the water supply network and infrastructure.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, China has only eight per cent of global freshwater resources but 22 per cent of the world's population. Much of what it does have is concentrated in the south, with northern and western regions prone to severe drought.

Water and wastewater treatment capabilities are limited as well. Data from China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development shows that as of the end of 2005, some 278 cities in China did not have sewage treatment plants, and eight of these had populations of more than half a million. The 11th five-year plan seeks to control water pollution by raising sewage treatment and water reclamation rates, especially in the arid cities of the north.

Singapore Companies Making Inroads in the China Water Industry
Several Singapore water firms such as Hyflux and Sembcorp have made substantial inroads into the burgeoning China market.

Hyflux is one of the pioneers in the water industry in China, and it has expanded steadily across the country since 1994. Hyflux is currently building Chinas largest desalination plant in Tianjin. The S$155 million membrane-based desalination plant, with a capacity of 100,000 m³/day, uses Hyflux's proprietary ultra-filtration technology. It has secured more than 40 water and wastewater treatment, water recycling and desalination plants in 26 provinces, with a combined designed capacity of more than 1.5million m³/day. Hyflux will continue to develop our business largely in China's high economic growth coastal regions such as Hebei, Jiangsu, Shandong and Tianjin.

On the industrial front, Hyflux has been active in the biotechnology, chemical, electronics, petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors for more than 15 years, serving more than 500 clients. It is also building a regional used oil recycling centre in Taizhou, and has two L-lactic acid manufacturing facilities in Huludao and Ningxia.

Within China, Sembcorp has focused its efforts in developing its business in key industrial areas such as the Yangtze River Delta area which includes Shanghai, Nanjing, and Zhangjiagang. It also recently ventured into the Bohai Bay Area with a wastewater treatment project in the Tianjin Lingang Industrial Area.

In Zhangjiagang, Sembcorp is operating China's first wastewater treatment plant capable of treating high concentration wastewater directly from source without pre-treatment. With its latest water supply project in the Shenyang Economic Development Zone, Sembcorp has also put in place a strategically important beachhead in northeast China.

The Singapore International Water Week is the global platform for water solutions. It will bring policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world. Comprising the Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo and Business Forums, it culminates in the presentation of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, a prestigious international award to recognise outstanding contributions in solving global water issues. The second Singapore International Water Week will be held from 22 to 26 June 2009 at Suntec Singapore. The theme is Sustainable Cities Infrastructure and Technologies for Water.

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